Books Honored by the National Book Foundation

National Book Award Medals

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. National Book Awards are given five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The first African-American writer to win a National Book Award was Ralph Ellison for Invisible Man.

The 2021 National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honorees include Caleb Azumah Nelson, Nathan Harris, and Dantiel W. Moniz

Check Out AALBC’s Coverage of the National Book Awards:  20172016201520142013


2 Books Honored by the National Book Foundation in 2008

Winner - Nonfiction

The Hemingses Of Monticello: An American Family
by Annette Gordon-Reed

Publication Date:
List Price: $21.95
Format: Paperback, 816 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780393337761
Imprint: W. W. Norton & Company
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Parent Company: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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Book Description: 
Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: “[A] commanding and important book.”?Jill Lepore, The New Yorker This epic work?named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times?tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family’s dispersal after Jefferson’s death in 1826. 37 illustrations

Finalist - Poetry

Blood Dazzler
by Patricia Smith

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $16.00
    Format: Paperback, 90 pages
    Classification: Poetry
    ISBN13: 9781566892186
    Imprint: Coffee House Press
    Publisher: Coffee House Press
    Parent Company: Coffee House Press
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    Read a Description of Blood Dazzler


    Book Description: 
    In minute-by-minute detail, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina as it transforms into a full-blown mistress of destruction. From August 23, 2005, the day Tropical Depression Twelve developed, through August 28 when it became a Category Five storm with its “scarlet glare fixed on the trembling crescent,” to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems evoke the horror that unfolded in New Orleans as America watched it on television.Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. Bernard Parish and recalls the day after their deaths when George W. Bush accompanied country singer Mark Willis on guitar:The cowboy grins through the terrible din,
    ***
    And in the Ninth, a choking woman wails
    Look like this country done left us for dead.An unforgettable reminder that poetry can still be “news that stays news,” Blood Dazzler is a necessary step toward national healing.Patricia Smith is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Teahouse of the Almighty, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize. A record-setting, national poetry slam champion, she was featured in the film Slamnation, on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, and is a frequent contributor to Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog. Visit her website at www.wordwoman.ws.

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